Menu

There and Then

Biography & autobiography


by
Frederic Raphael

Book Details

Format: EPUB

Page count: 216 pages

File size: 1 MB

Protection: DRM

Language: English

We had been instructed to start promptly at six, since the hall was needed again at eight. We pushed through the curtained doorway, like instrumentalists without instruments, and onto the stepped stage. The audience was still coming in. Uncertain of our running time, and with no one to introduce us, I thought we had better start. I got as far as ‘Byr– ’ when Alan decided he did indeed need his glasses. He delivered his rehearsed ad lib, claiming that his vanity was second only to Byron’s, and put on his specs.

It is July 1981, and Alan Bates succumbs to a fit of nerves as he and Frederic Raphael attempt to carry off an underrehearsed performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. This wry glimpse behind the scenes of the London literary scene sits, in Raphael’s notebooks, amid clear-eyed analysis of the riots and social unrest then erupting in Britain’s cities under Margaret Thatcher’s government. Compulsively readable, by turns mischievous and coruscating, this latest volume of Raphael’s reflections casts light on a period that saw the beginnings of a decisive shift in British and American culture. Along the way, there are finely incised pen-portraits of public figures ranging from Shirley Conran to Peter Sellers and from Robert Redford to Mary Whitehouse.

We had been instructed to start promptly at six, since the hall was needed again at eight. We pushed through the curtained doorway, like instrumentalists without instruments, and onto the stepped stage. The audience was still coming in. Uncertain of our running time, and with no one to introduce us, I thought we had better start. I got as far as ‘Byr– ’ when Alan decided he did indeed need his glasses. He delivered his rehearsed ad lib, claiming that his vanity… (more)

We had been instructed to start promptly at six, since the hall was needed again at eight. We pushed through the curtained doorway, like instrumentalists without instruments, and onto the stepped stage. The audience was still coming in. Uncertain of our running time, and with no one to introduce us, I thought we had better start. I got as far as ‘Byr– ’ when Alan decided he did indeed need his glasses. He delivered his rehearsed ad lib, claiming that his vanity was second only to Byron’s, and put on his specs.

It is July 1981, and Alan Bates succumbs to a fit of nerves as he and Frederic Raphael attempt to carry off an underrehearsed performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. This wry glimpse behind the scenes of the London literary scene sits, in Raphael’s notebooks, amid clear-eyed analysis of the riots and social unrest then erupting in Britain’s cities under Margaret Thatcher’s government. Compulsively readable, by turns mischievous and coruscating, this latest volume of Raphael’s reflections casts light on a period that saw the beginnings of a decisive shift in British and American culture. Along the way, there are finely incised pen-portraits of public figures ranging from Shirley Conran to Peter Sellers and from Robert Redford to Mary Whitehouse.

(less)